PORTSMOUTH – Women's basketball will open its 18th appearance in the NAIA Tournament next Wednesday, March 13 at 10:15 a.m. vs. Columbia (Mo.). The NAIA Division I Women's Basketball Championship will be held at Frankfort Convention Center in Frankfort, Ky. – the same location as the Mid-South Conference Tournament. This matchup will be the first ever meeting between these two schools.
The Bears (23-9) were ranked 18th in the final NAIA Poll released on Wednesday and are seeded fifth in their quad of the national bracket. SSU's first round opponent is 27-6 overall and seeded fourth in that same quad. The Cougars were ranked 13th in the final NAIA Poll before the national tournament.
SSU earned its way into the tournament by grabbing the sixth of 14 at-large bids available and is one of six Mid-South Schools in the tournament – the most of any NAIA conference. The Cougars are making their 10th appearance in the NAIA Division Women's Tournament. They got in tournament by winning the American Midwest Conference Tournament.
Women's basketball is 7-6 against teams that have also qualified for the NAIA Division I Tournament this season. Twelve of those games have come against teams from the Mid-South Conference. The only non-MSC school in the tournament that the Bears have played is Benedictine. SSU owns an 88-74 win over Benedictine from the trip to Florida during the Daytona Beach Shootout.